I too am appalled. Seems cruel. I did learn that turtles have very sensitive skin and that they even have sensitivity in their shells. They can feel pressure and actually like rubbing their shells. Some will rub against things for the sensation. they are quite curious. Some I saw were in tanks recovering from injuries. (so sad, but many go through rehab quite well) As I moved around the tank, they would follow me. If I stopped and leaned down to coo at them, they would surface and snort at me, roll to one side, open their mouth and look me straight in the eye. Some species are strictly vegetarian and others not. Squid is the favorite food of most. All turtles nest at night, except the Kemp's Ridley. They only nest during the day. I found out that turtles with a missing flipper can survive quite well in the wild or return to the wild, but the females will be unable to nest(they can't dig appropriately) and males have difficulty mating (they can't mount the female) They whole thing was fascinating. some of the turtles there were missing more than one flipper and would never be successful in the wild. I was shocked that they could swim at all. One had been found with a cracked shell, and when he healed, it left an air bubble under his shell near his rear end. His butt was always trying to float, so they outfitted him with weights like a diver and it worked like a charm. The problem was, he wasn't full grown, and if they let him go, as he grew the weights would no longer be heavy enough. They are going to try surgery and vaccuum out the air trapped under the shell. I sure hope it works. His name is bubble butt.
Naturally he was the favorite of my kids. This really is a wonderful place.